Old Gods of Appalachia

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Is not being able to tighten a nut a design flaw of a hammer?

The past weekend, I went on a quick trip to Nevada (to see a ballet, of all things), and had to rent a car while I was there. For reasons of availability, they swapped out the compact I had requested to an SUV. This thing was a boat, had issues fitting in some parking spaces, and guzzled gas like there was no tomorrow. I needed a thing for taking my wife and I from point A to Point B on some highways, and a bit of urban driving for sightseeing. What I got was not great for those things.

But not meeting my particular needs didn't mean the SUV was flawed, in and of itself. It would have been fine if I needed to move a crowd of people in notable comfort. It would have been fine if I'd needed to move significant cargo. The design was fine for those tasks - they just weren't my tasks.

"I got the wrong tool for the job," is not a flaw on the part of the tool.
Okay. A 1995 Ford f-250 is a poorly designed pickup truck, for people who want and need specifically a pickup truck.

Sometimes design goals aren’t executed well.
But allowing niche-combining would mean it wouldn't present the desired genre well - in the original fiction (at least, what I've listened to - I'm not fully caught up), they don't combine niches much. Specifically, characters don't usually have small bits of magic - they are either largely focused on it, or have none.

So, your desired goal of niche-combining seems at odds with the design goal of a game that represents their particular fiction. That's not really a flaw, merely a choice of goals.
Again, niche combining is not what I said narrowed the game for me, nor did I say that it was bad design to do so.

Further, the game does allow quite significant niche combining. I’ll be playing an Explorer with the Fears No Haints focus, which will allow me to call upon spirits. If I took Cannot Escape The Darkness I’d have shadow magic instead.

So, again, it is not a matter of the game not allowing niche combining.
I didn't quote you any text in this thread. You seem to be confusing me with someone else.
Yes, you did.
IMG_2017.png
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
And yet that is what the game is about isn't it or should we say its a system book with a small portion dedicated to playing in specific locations.

418 page book roughly
335 pages dedicated to the system
73 pages to the setting covering 6 regions
12 pages to adventures

I guess my problem is instead of getting a lore rich book that covered many areas, points of interest, and plot hooks I got a reprint of the Cypher system with the basic setting tacked on.

Best to ya'll I'm off to other things
It could be 500 pages of setting and story, and my point would stand. It ain’t a travel guide, it’s a guide to playing a game.

Further, your page count summary is BS, because the entire system is rewritten to constantly drip with Old Gods lore and story. Every Type, Descriptor, and Focus, every Cypher, Artifact, the equipment list, the skills, the examples of play, the bestiary, all of it is Old Gods, not generic Cypher System.

So, great, you don’t like it, cool. Please stop making spurious claims about it.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Okay. A 1995 Ford f-250 is a poorly designed pickup truck, for people who want and need specifically a pickup truck.

Sometimes design goals aren’t executed well.

Before you can say that, though, you have to determine whether you are actually talking about their design goals, or about your desires.

Like, most of us can agree that representing Appalachia outside the space referred to in the stories was not a design goal, right? Someone here seem to desire setting information about other areas, but we argue that not presenting such isn't really a flaw.

You desire a broader game, but the design goal appears to me to be more narrow, by choice to fit the fiction.

Again, niche combining is not what I said narrowed the game for me, nor did I say that it was bad design to do so.

I gathered that not niche combining was narrowing the game for you. I think of the drawbacks you are referring to as mostly a mechanic for niche protection - if you want power in niche X, you have weakness in niche Y.

I agree that not allowing combination narrows the game, btw. I'm just of the opinion that the resulting narrowness is not a flaw - it seems an intentional genre-supporting choice.

Yes, you did.

Ah. I thought you were talking about text other than what you wrote. Like quotes from the book, and such. Sorry I misunderstood.

See above - I view the drawbacks as one of the ways to protect niches.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
You desire a broader game, but the design goal appears to me to be more narrow, by choice to fit the fiction.
False. I desire a game about exactly as broad as the game is, but actually executed well. You keep telling me what I want, and ignoring me when I tell you that you’re wrong.
I gathered that not niche combining was narrowing the game for you. I think of the drawbacks you are referring to as mostly a mechanic for niche protection - if you want power in niche X, you have weakness in niche Y.
The drawbacks are not related to niche protection in most cases. The educated descriptor making positive social interactions harder protects no niche.

Focuses like Fears No Haint, Has The Gift, Cannot Escape The Darkness, and others literally give you magic. Others like Gets Rough and Rowdy give you the ability to fight. What they don’t do is interact with inabilities in skills, which is poor execution.

It creates Ivory Tower design elements that don’t benefit the game, don’t protect niches, they just make the thing that they allow more awkward than they need to be.
 

Aldarc

Legend
I guess my problem is instead of getting a lore rich book that covered many areas, points of interest, and plot hooks I got a reprint of the Cypher system with the basic setting tacked on.
I'm sorry that you feel slighted that Northern Georgia was left out of the states discussed. To be clear, however, (a) it's meant to be a stand-alone game, which requires including the complete and modified rules for the Cypher System; and (b) it's not meant to be a comprehensive lore book for Appalachian folklore and culture, but, rather, it provides a simple introduction for the Old Gods of Appalachia podcast setting, which takes place in a fantastical Appalachia that never was.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
False. I desire a game about exactly as broad as the game is, but actually executed well. You keep telling me what I want, and ignoring me when I tell you that you’re wrong.

With respect, slight correction. I don't understand when you tell me I am wrong. There's a difference.

The drawbacks are not related to niche protection in most cases. The educated descriptor making positive social interactions harder protects no niche.

Sure it does. It separates the "lorekeeper" niche from the "face" niche.
 

Randy J Mull

Explorer
So this has whole tangent has prompted me to do some additional research.

I think this map is helpful.
Subregions_2009_Map-1.png

What I consider Appalachian culture is primarily what is listed as central Appalachia here - though I would expand it just a little further into the bordering orange and purple areas.

Doing some additional research also reveals why areas in Pennsylvania and Georgia tend to get left off when people mention Appalachian culture. It’s not that they don’t share some - it’s that there’s other large influences from other cultures like the cities in PA to general southern culture for ga.
That is the ARC map which is not a good representation it is a government economic map that hass had alot of areas tacked and is divided by administrative zones rather that cultural areas.
This map was based in the first map defining what was the Appalachian cultural area by William Goodall Frost in 1890 who also is credited with coining the term Appalachian American. The two darkest red is what were considered always Appalachian with the next darkest red as almost always and the lighest as sometimes. The ARC map started with this and then tacked on areas that had nothing to do with the culture but for economic reasons.
 

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MGibster

Legend
For those outside the United States who might be unaware, and even some of us in it, there is a long history of Appalachians being denigrated, stereotyped, and made the butt of jokes by outsiders. A hillbilly was originally defined as a white person who lived in the hills of Appalachia and was dirt poor, drank too much, backwards, and was prone to violence. In the late 19th and early 20th century, tourist used to go to Appalachia to gawk at the locals. If it seems as though some people are a little sensitive to how Appalachia is portrayed, even a ficionalized version, please keep in mind the cultural trauma that has passed down from generation to generation after more than a century of denigration, stereotyping, and being treated as the butt of jokes. It doesn't mean you have to agree, just be aware of the cultural legacy you're wading through.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
With respect, slight correction. I don't understand when you tell me I am wrong. There's a difference.



Sure it does. It separates the "lorekeeper" niche from the "face" niche.
It really doesn’t. Have you read the book? It literally just reinforces stereotypes. You can easily play a Speaker with deep lore knowledge. It’s just that they felt they had to give a strong descriptor a downside, and chose to use a stereotype to do so.

Niche protection isn’t actually accomplished anywhere in the damn game, it just makes it awkward to make broadly capable characters that perform well in tier 1, in spite of saying explicitly that the game is not “zero to hero” and the PCs are meant to be experienced and competent when the game begins.
 

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